Love thy neighbour, when it suits

I'M a smoker. I wish I wasn't and I know it's no good for me. I have tried to give up dozens of times without success and I continue to do so.

At least I consider myself to be responsible smoker. I don't throw butts out the window, I don't leave them on the ground and if I go to an outdoor dining establishment that allows smoking, I look for a table separated from other diners.

Once seated however, leaving my packet of fags in plain view, it is then up to other diners as to whether they wish to sit nearby. It seems more often than not, and always on a fine day, I will have a non-smoker plonk at the next table.

These are the people who kicked us outdoors into the wind and the rain and the cold in the first place.

They are happy to have us out there until the sun shines.

You can guarantee that when I light up I will be greeted by over exaggerated coughing from the temporary neighbours.

This will be accompanied by loud commentary on the evils of smoking and how disgusting the habit is.

Because we are outdoors we are usually camped next to a road. Guess what goes up and down that road? Cars, motorbikes and trucks! Guess what they expel? Carbon monoxide!

I have never heard one of these anti-smokers complain of carbon monoxide poisoning. Perhaps it's because they drive a car.

As I get older and grumpier I've suggested they wrap their gobs and nasty comments around the nearest tailpipe. I note that what I've paid in tobacco tax and into my private health fund would not only cover the cost of my heart-lung transplant, but also theirs.

After a couple of snorts of derision they usually shut up.

When Tullamarine airport was built it was surrounded by paddocks.

The infrastructure required by the airport brought one housing estate after another. Now, as people move into the area, they are demanding a curfew on flights.

That they knew the airport was there seems to be irrelevant.

In a past life my Rita and her then husband owned an industrial waste truck.

Theirs was the first house built in the cul-de-sac.

Being good neighbours they offered their services to those building in the street at no cost.

This was accepted with glee by all until the houses were built and the leftover waste disposed of. Then guess what happened? Yep, they all got together and filed a petition with the council to have that noisy waste truck parked somewhere, anywhere else but in their cul-de-sac.

Whatever happened to love thy neighbour?

On a sad note our Smitty has announced his resignation as Editor of Big Rigs.

Now I have no one with less hair and who is shorter than me to pick on.

I've really enjoyed working with Chris and wish him luck in his future endeavours.

Take care of yours


'They are happy to have us out there until the sun shines'

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